Sound Health with Mickey Hart
Sound Health: Music and the Mind (John Iversen plays drums with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart) - Watch the Video!


Sound Health NetworkSound Health Network Launch Event - January 26, 2021 @ 2pm PST

This 60-minute event will explore how music can provide insights into brain functioning, reduce social isolation, promote community solidarity, and influence health. Dr. Iversen takes part in a conversation about the power of music in community with musician Quetzal Flores. Click here for more information!


Closer to Truth - How Do Brains Make MusicCloser to Truth: How Do Brains Make Music? (Part 1)

Closer to Truth is a PBS interview series on music and the brain. Click here to watch Part 1 interviews with INC's John Iversen, along with Mark Tramo, Diana Deutsch, and Elizabeth Margulis. For four other interviews (including Can Music Probe Mentality? And Can the Mind Heal the Body?), click here.


Canada Broadcast Company show "IDEAS" - April 30, 2020

John Iversen speaks about the Neuroscience of Rhythm, and how rhythm helps us walk, talk — and even love. Click here to read.


Sound Health: Music and the Mind

Sound Health, launched in 2016, aims to expand our understanding of the connections between music and wellness. Under the leadership of Renée Fleming and Dr. Francis Collins, it is a partnership between the Kennedy Center and National Institutes of Health, in association with the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Iversen has been part of this project since its inception. The previously held event, on September 7-8 2018, was filled with performance and discussions about how music impacts the developing brain, with a deeper focus on childhood development. CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta hosted the evening concert - Music and the Mind: SoundHealth - The Concert. Dr. Iversen joined Dr. Nina Kraus, Dr. Charles Limb, and Dr. Laurel Trainor, on an exploration into how music can "excite our neurons, shape our brains, harness our creativity, and bring us together." (video below)

The evening also featured performances by renowned musicians and other special guests.
Dr. Iversen performed with legendary Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart! (video below)

Take Note! Why Music Education Matters: A Panel Discussion Moderated by Renée Fleming (9/8/18)
John's segment begins at 28:08: (Click here to to start at 28:08, or view the video below for the entire panel)

Click here to view more information about the 2017 SoundHealth event.


SnowballSnowball is back

  • How Dancing Animals Help Solve an Evolutionary Puzzle (The Atlantic, 3/28/16)
    Neuroscientists are studying elephants, parrots, and sea lions to better understand the origins of rhythm.
    "There are moments when we witness an animal do something so far outside its presumed repertoire of behavior—something so uncannily human—that we can never look at that animal, or ourselves, the same way again."
  • Not a Human, but a Dancer (The Atlantic, 7/8/19)
    What Snowball the parrot’s spontaneous moves teach us about ourselves
  • Additional news coverage


TEDxSanDiego: Does Music Change a Child's Brain? (10/17/15)

"Music is a central part of life for many of us, whether we listen, dance or play. It can shape our mood or transport our imagination, but what is going on in our brain? Can music be used to help an ailing brain, or boost a learning one? The UCSD SIMPHONY project, in collaboration with the San Diego Youth Symphony, is attempting to answer these questions by studying if music training has an impact on the development of children’s brains and other key skills. What specific experiences might shape the growth of specific brain circuits? By understanding music’s power to shape the brain, our hope is to be a part of the answer to this groundbreaking question. John Iversen is a UCSD neuroscientist studying music, language and the brain in an effort to understand how we perceive rhythm, and how musical rhythm can be used in medicine. John is also directing the SIMPHONY project, an ambitious collaborative longitudinal study of the impact of music training on brain and behavioral development. By night he’s the co-founder of San Diego Taiko, a group dedicated to sharing the dynamic energy of Japanese taiko drumming with the community." (TEDx Talks)

The SIMPHONY Project

The SIMPHONY Project is a collaboration between the University of California, San Diego, and the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. It's goal - to ask the important question: "How does music change a child's brain?"
KPBS: What Learning Looks Like: Creating A Well-Tuned Orchestra In Your Head

UCTV: High Notes: The Case for Music Education

(Dr. Iversen speaks about the SIMPHONY Project starting at 12:15 in the video)

UC MERCI and Mozart and the Mind

The UC Merci team developed an active research community in University of California on the dynamics of brain and body interactions involved in music listening, composing, performance, memory, therapy, and learning. Mozart & the Mind is an annual event filled with interactivity, science, and music, pairing  music-brain presentations with interactive expositions and world-class Spotlight concerts. Read about Mozart and the Mind here! Below is a video taken at a colloquium organized by UC MERCI (Dr. Scott Makeig, Director) that combined UC Merci and Mozart & the Mind (9/25/15)


The Brain and a Drum / Bronowski Forum

Rhythm - The Brain and a Drum / Bronowski Forum (1/7/11)


How Learning Language Influences the Perception of Non-linguistic Rhythm

Aniruddh Patel and John Iversen - Click here to listen to the talk (speaker starts at 1 min 30 seconds in)